Washington Post: The World Is Off Course to Prevent Severe Warming, Says Energy Agency

In a major report to be released Monday, the Paris-based International Energy Agency -- which provides independent energy analysis and has 29 member countries, including the United States -- will state that current national commitments to cut greenhouse gases are still insufficient to keep the world below two degrees Celsius of warming above preindustrial levels.

At the same time, the agency will also offer a path forward, showing how the world, with a bit more ambition, could peak its emissions by the year 2020 and get onto a safer path.

Guardian: Pope Francis Warns of Destruction of Earth's Ecosystem in Leaked Encyclical

Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century, according to a leaked draft of a papal encyclical. In a document released by an Italian magazine on Monday, the pontiff will warn that failure to act would have “grave consequences for all of us.”

Francis also called for a new global political authority tasked with “tackling…the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions.” His appeal echoed that of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who in a 2009 encyclical proposed a kind of super-UN to deal with the world’s economic problems and injustices.

Energy Post: Solar Power Passes 1% Global Threshold

Solar power now covers more than 1% of global electricity demand. In three countries in Europe -- Italy, Germany and Greece -- solar PV supplies more than 7% of electricity demand. This is reported by Solar Power Europe (previously the European Photovoltaic Industry Association). China is the fastest-growing market. Research company GlobalData has adjusted projected new capacity in China for 2015 upward.

Los Angeles Times: L.A. Won't Buy Power From Mojave Desert Solar Plant

The city of Los Angeles has dropped plans to buy electricity from a controversial solar plant proposed for the Mojave Desert, delivering a serious blow to the most environmentally sensitive renewable energy project in the state.

City officials said Thursday that the Soda Mountain Solar Project would be too damaging to bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and other wildlife near the site along Interstate 15, just south of Baker and less than a mile from the Mojave National Preserve.

Wired: Racing Around the World in 80 Days Without Fossil Fuels

In April, as many as 30 teams will set out from Paris on a race around the world, each aiming to cover 25,000 miles and make it back to the French capital within 80 days -- which means covering about 320 miles a day. And they have to do it without burning any fossil fuels.

The “80-Day Race” obviously is inspired by Verne’s 1873 novel Around the World in 80 Days, in which protagonist Phileas Fogg bets he can circumnavigate the globe in record time, thanks to new technologies like the steam engine.

BBC: China ‘Deserves More Credit’ for Renewable Energy Effort

China should be given more credit for its investment in clean electricity, the head of the International Energy Agency says. Maria van der Hoeven says most people think that China is frantically building coal-fired power stations.

The reality, she says, is that China is spending as much as the U.S. and Europe put together on clean power.